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Frequently Asked Questions

Carat Vs Karat

Diamond Carat Weight

When is Diamond Carat Weight Used?

Diamond Carat Weight describes the weight of a diamondCarat is utilized to define the weight of a diamond or gemstone.
Carat vs. Diamond Size

Higher carat weight doesn't always mean a bigger diamond. Carat is about weight, not dimensions. Diamond shapes will affect how big they look despite same weight. Example: 1.5 carat emerald cut vs. round brilliant. Shapes vary in perceived size. Check diamond size chart for details and review measurements for unique profile.

Combining Carat and Karat

When selecting engagement rings, wedding bands, women's everyday jewelry, and men's jewelry, it is essential to consider both karat and carat measurements. These measurements provide accurate descriptions of gemstone weights and the purity of gold styles.

Diamond Carat Weight Measures a Diamond’s Apparent Size

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Carat is actually a standard unit of measure that defines the weight of a diamond. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. Carat sizes are also expressed as "points", with a one carat diamond equaling 100 points, a one-half carat diamond being 50 points, a three-quarter carat diamond being 75 points, and so on.

Each carat can be subdivided into 100 ‘points.’ This allows very precise measurements to the hundredth decimal place. A jeweler may describe the weight of a diamond below one carat by its ‘points’ alone. For instance, the jeweler may refer to a diamond that weighs 0.25 carats as a ‘twenty-five pointer.’ Diamond weights greater than one carat are expressed in carats and decimals. A 1.08 carat stone would be described as ‘one point oh eight carats.’

All else being equal, diamond price increases with diamond carat weight because larger diamonds are rarer and more desirable. But two diamonds of equal carat weight can have very different values (and prices) depending on three other factors of the diamond 4Cs: Clarity, Color, and Cut.

It’s important to remember that a diamond’s value is determined using all of the 4Cs, not just carat weight.

This short video explains carat weight and shows how diamonds are weighed in GIA’s lab on an extremely precise electronic scale.

How did the carat system start?

The modern carat system started with the carob seed. Early gem traders used the small, uniform seeds as counterweights in their balance scales. The carat is the same gram weight in every corner of the world.

What are “magic sizes”?

Some weights are considered “magic sizes” – half carat, three-quarter carat, and carat. Visually, there’s little difference between a 0.99 carat diamond and one that weighs a full carat. But the price differences between the two can be significant.

Understanding the Distinction Between Carat and Karat

When it comes to fine jewelry, both "carat" and "karat" are acceptable terms. However, it is important to use the correct term depending on what aspect of jewelry you are discussing.

  • Carat: This term is used when referring to the weight of diamonds or gemstones. It is a unit of measurement specifically for these precious stones.
  • Karat: On the other hand, "karat" is utilized when discussing the purity or fineness of gold. It indicates the proportion of pure gold in a piece of jewelry, with higher karat values signifying a higher gold content.
    In summary, the distinction lies in the focus of each term – carat measures the weight of gemstones, while karat denotes the purity of gold.

Is carat the size of a diamond?
Carat is actually a measure of a diamond's weight, not its precise size. Generally, a higher carat weight indicates a larger diamond, but it is recommended to verify the gem's exact measurements.

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